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Montserrat is a small island and is situated in the Caribbean. It is 12 miles long and 7 miles wide. Montserrat was known as the emerald island, it attracted many tourists because there was plenty of wildlife and many mountains. However the Island is an LEDC and rely on farming for there main supply of food.
Before the first eruption there was over 12,000 people living on this small island, however after the final eruption in 1997 there was 5000 people left living on the Island. The eruptions has devastating effects on the people, economy and surroundings of the Island.
In July 1995 the eruptions began, the people who lived on the island said that there was light ash fall, loud rumbling noises and also a sulphuric smell. On July 22, light ash fall occurred in the capital, Plymouth.
The islands capital Plymouth was eventually evacuated in 1996 after the volcano became increasingly violent and caused major damage and resulting in Plymouth being covered in inches of ash.
In June 1997 20 people lost their lives. Large eruptions continued but larger and more violent, collapsing pyroclastic flows, which travelled at 100mph and was nearly an irresistible force affects most of the island.
On the 26 th of December- boxing day- 1997 volcano violently erupted and an ash cloud temporarily darkened the island. An avalanche of volcanic debris caused small tsunamis which fortunately took no lives. Also forest fires were caused because of pyroclastic flows.
After the eruption 4000 people took refuge on the northern end of the island.
Primary Effects. There were many primary effects of the eruption, one of them being 2/3 of the island was covered in ash, causing devastation and many homes being destroyed. As a result of this 50% of the island has to be evacuated to the north side of the island. Also Plymouth the capital of the island was covered in ash and became a ghost town. Forest fires and tsunamis were caused in a result of pyroclastic flows. Farmland was destroyed as well as schools and hospitals, the airport was also closed.
There were many long term effects, one being 2/3 of the island was declared a danger zone. Also many of the people who left the island did not return the population of the island went from 11000 to 4000. Another long term effect was the people who's houses was destroyed and covered with volcanic ash cannot afford new ones and so have no where to stay.
Vegetation was destroyed by acid rain, and it will take some time for the rain to stop. Therefore leads to pollution of the lakes and streams and makes animal life almost impossible.
The MVO (Montserrat Volcano Observatory) was set up to study the volcano and provide warnings for the future.
£41 million was given by the British government to provide to the Island, also £2400 was given to individuals to help them start again or move to other areas.
The British government then gave money to start to re-build the north side of the island and build new houses for the 4000 people left on the island to live in.
However scientists argue that further development would be a waste of time as they are not yet sure if/when there is going to be another eruption and they say if there is its possible it could wipe out the whole island.
Montserrat eruption was mainly so devastating because no one predicted that the volcano that had been dormant for over 500 years was going to erupt. As the country was an LEDC and relied on farming as its main supply of food and the money tourists brought in the eruption was horrifying as it destroyed a lot of the island and the farming, immediately putting a halt on food supplies, meaning that the island had to rely on other countries such as Britain for aid. The eruption also stopped the island being a tourist attraction, the only tourists that came were ones on cruise ships, they never stopped at the island.
Another reason is the eruption happened over a period of 2 years meaning that all the money went into saving the people and the island, homes, wildlife and food were destroyed making it extremely hard for the island to move on and start again.
The eruption effected the island dramatically as an LEDC because it meant that all the money the country had or was given was used for aid and studies of the volcano, meaning that the country had no time to develop over the two years.
It had lost over 2/3 of its population therefore less jobs were getting done and less farming which meant less food.
Before the eruptions Montserrat used to be very popular with tourists as it was a beautiful island with lots of scenery however now it is classed as a danger zone, and people do not want to visit a place where there lives could potentially be in danger.
So now Montserrat has lost its tourist attraction, 2/3 of its population and a lot of the island has been destroyed effecting development dramatically.